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Public Financing of Civil Society Organizations: Considerations for Georgia

On November 8, Europe Foundation (EPF) will be presenting the report Public Financing of Civil Society Organizations:  Considerations for Georgia. The presentation will take place at Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel (1 Rose Revolution Square) during 13:30 — 15:45. Representatives of the Georgian Government, civil society, diplomatic missions and international development organizations will attend the event. The findings of the report will be presented by an independent consultant, Gemma Piñol Puig. 

The consultant conducted research on the existing public financing framework and mechanisms for CSOs in various parts of Europe, identifying main trends and models, as well as their benefits and drawbacks for each society. This comparative review is then set against the backdrop of Georgia, where the consultant carried out extensive field work, which involved desk review of existing literature and numerous interviews with key stakeholders.  The report provides actionable recommendations for future advocacy efforts for promoting long-term and transparent CSO funding in Georgia. 

Some of the findings of the report include:

  • Public financing system of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Georgia is fragmented;
  • Public financing mechanisms do not include watchdog civil society organizations;
  • Non-transparent practices of public financing remains a challenge;
  • The limited public funds do not ensure economic sustainability of CSOs .

“Engagement with CSOs is ad hoc and the purpose for which CSOs are granted funds is not recognised by any state policy. The Law on Grants is outdated and requires improvement.  Furthermore, fragmentation of granting mechanisms across the ministries shows a more utilitarian engagement with CSOs, which is ad hoc and aims at supporting specific needs of the concerned ministry or granting public authority without any consideration for institutional and capacity development of civil society organisations,” the report notes.  

To advocate successfully for long-term and transparent public financing mechanisms for civil society, the report sets forth the following recommendations:

  • Advocate for a review of the legal framework, to reduce fragmentation and to develop holistic policies and strategies directed toward CSOs,
  • Include eligibility of funds for capacity development activities in state policies and strategies towards civil society,
  • Demand a more transparent system that ensures equal access to all CSO,
  • Remain independent to hold the government accountable, and
  • Continue working toward strengthened CSO accountability and legitimacy.

About Europe Foundation:   Europe Foundation’s mission is to empower people to effect change for social justice and economic prosperity through hands-on programs, helping them to improve their communities and their own lives. To achieve its mission, EPF strives to strengthen the capacity of individuals and institutions, empowering them to address pressing issues and to mobilize relevant stakeholders in issue-based dialogue, through raising public awareness and creating various coalitions, platforms or working groups, so as to effect positive change. 

Contact person:  Ketevan Magalashvili, e-mail: kmagalashvili@epfound.ge, Tel.: 225-3942/43.

See the report here. 

 

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